Sony’s long-struggling mobile arm and US carriers have never been particularly close, and it’s hard to tell if that’s because Xperia phones aren’t popular enough stateside, or if perhaps they failed to catch on all this time precisely due to Sprint and AT&T’s indifference, as well as T-Mobile and Verizon’s blunders.

Either way, following the controversial “culmination” of the Z roster, Sony appears to have decided to take its North American destiny into its own hands, sidestepping the operator approval process and selling the Xperia X, Xperia X Performance, XA and XA Ultra directly to consumers in unlocked form.

The four Android 6.0 Marshmallow-powered handhelds will all begin shipping on US shores by the end of July from a host of third-party retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, and Reagan Wireless.

With pre-orders already underway, the “standard” Sony Xperia X is naturally slated to roll out first, on June 26, setting you back a fairly extravagant $550 for a 5-incher limited to Full HD screen resolution, Snapdragon 650 processing power, 3GB RAM and 2,620 mAh battery juice, sans fingerprint support and water resistance too.

The higher-end X Performance shall see daylight alongside the entry-level Xperia XA on July 17, followed exactly one week later by the gargantuan mid-range XA Ultra. It goes without saying the 5-inch XA will be the cheapest of the bunch, at $280, while the Ultra is set to fetch an extra 90 bucks, and the Performance gets an exorbitant $700 MSRP.

Worth it? It’s all debatable, as the premium variant picks up a water shield and Snapdragon 820 SoC, but still “settles” for a 1080p 5-inch display, 3GB RAM, and relatively small 2,700 mAh cell. The XA downgrades the screen to 720p, memory to only 2 gigs, and battery capacity to 2,300 mAh, and finally, the 6-inch XA Ultra features a Full HD panel, 3GB RAM, 2,700 mAh ticker, plus mind-blowing 21.5 and 16MP cameras.

Source: The Verge

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